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Integration of faces and voices, but not faces and names, in person recognition

Authors

  • Christiane O’Mahony,

    1. School of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
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  • Fiona N. Newell

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
      Fiona Newell, Institute of Neuroscience, Lloyd Building, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland (e-mail: fiona.newell@tcd.ie).
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Fiona Newell, Institute of Neuroscience, Lloyd Building, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland (e-mail: fiona.newell@tcd.ie).

Abstract

Recent studies on cross-modal recognition suggest that face and voice information are linked for the purpose of person identification. We tested whether congruent associations between familiarized faces and voices facilitated subsequent person recognition relative to incongruent associations. Furthermore, we investigated whether congruent face and name associations would similarly benefit person identification relative to incongruent face and name associations. Participants were familiarized with a set of talking video-images of actors, their names, and their voices. They were then tested on their recognition of either the face, voice, or name of each actor from bimodal stimuli which were either congruent or novel (incongruent) associations between the familiarized face and voice or face and name. We found that response times to familiarity decisions based on congruent face and voice stimuli were facilitated relative to incongruent associations. In contrast, we failed to find a benefit for congruent face and name pairs. Our findings suggest that faces and voices, but not faces and names, are integrated in memory for the purpose of person recognition. These findings have important implications for current models of face perception and support growing evidence for multisensory effects in face perception areas of the brain for the purpose of person recognition.

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